Publication Date


Document Type



Master of Education (MEd)

MA Concentration

Educational Technology


Pamela A. Redmond, Jim O'Connor


This study investigated writing instruction reform to address students' lack of readiness for the writing rigor of higher education and the writing expectations of the future work force. A classroom of 25 first grade students in a northern California public Elementary school received enhancement to existing literacy curricula throughout the 2010-2011 school year. The investigation methodology consisted of two main enhancements, the use of dramatic art and digital storytelling as treatments to increase writing skills and create lessons with cultural relevance. The writing scores of the treatment group (n=25) was compared to the scores of the control group (n=23) which did not receive the enhancements. Analysis of the results as viewed by the Mann-Whitney test, found the mean comparison and the .01 P value of the two sample groups to be considered significant in the area of writing content. The test also revealed that the mean comparison and .00 P value in the area of writing conventions was extremely significant. Analysis of the data from this study concludes that the addition of dramatic art and digital storytelling technology to existing literacy curriculum produces quantitatively superior writing skills in first grade students.